Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Home Agent is Family Counselor and Advisor, 1933

A September, 1933, letter to Mrs. Anne L. Booker, Queens-Chicora College, Charlotte, from Mrs. Jane S. McKimmon explains qualifications for county home agents:
It was good to receive your letter of commendation of Miss . . . and our district agent, Miss Ruth Current, and I concur with you in your opinion of her personality and education. The only disqualifying factor is her extreme youth and when I tell you just what the duties of a home agent are, you will see that it is a very serious lack. At present we are employing no woman under twenty-six years of age.
A home demonstration agent must deal with farm women of the county, must serve as counselor to mothers, to people in trouble both old and young, and be a general family advisor. Her counsel is asked and her guidance followed, and it is absolutely necessary that a woman who has gone through life experiences shall be the person directing home demonstration work. I have had experience now for twenty-two years in placing agents and no matter what the training is of a very young person, or what her personality may be, the lack of experiences which condition family life is an insurmountable barrier to her success. Older women do not feel that an extremely young person is capable of advising them.
I should like to see Miss . . . take a position in a rural school and make herself part of the community in which she teaches, if she desires a position as home demonstration agent in the future.
At present there are around half a dozen young women out in the teaching field getting experience for home demonstration work. These girls have been 4-H club members and have complet3ed their home economics courses in accredited colleges. I would not be willing to handicap any young person by placing her in a position for which experience had not fitted her.
From the Special Collections Research Center, located at D. H. Hill Library, which includes collections of rare books, the personal and professional papers of NC State faculty, photographs, architectural drawings, and other primary resources and unique materials supporting NC State's academic programs. Of importance to students and researchers around the world, the center has been implementing digital tools to increase access to some of its key holdings in the areas of the history of forestry, entomology, and animal rights. It also maintains the University Archives, documenting the history of NC State.

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